Niederburg Castle

Manderscheid, Germany

Manderscheid Lower Castle (Niederburg) was first mentioned in 1133, when it started to be built as an outer bailey of the Upper Castle. The Upper Castle was then held by Richard von Manderscheid as a fief from Henry IV, Count of Luxembourg. Around 1146 a feud started between Henry IV and Albero de Montreuil, Archbishop of Trier, and Albero besieged the Upper Castle and took it from Henry. After peace was settled the Archbishop was allowed to keep the castle. The Lords of Manderscheid then settled on the Lower Castle. The Lower Castle was then built up to become a full castle on its own.

Between 1346 and 1348 the Lower Castle was unsuccessfully besieged by Baldwin of Luxembourg, Archbishop-Elector of Trier, and William V, Duke of Jülich. Up until 1427 the damaged castle was being rebuilt by Dietrich I von Manderscheid. In 1457 the Manderscheid family were elevated to Counts by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick III.

In 1673 the Lower Castle was badly damaged by the French troops of Louis XIV. This started the decay of the castle, although it was still inhabited in 1794. Then the French revolutionary troops invaded the region. They found the castle empty, as the inhabitants had already fled to their lands in Bohemia. The French then destroyed the castle and, in the early 19th century, auctioned its ruin off for demolition.

The ruins of the Niederburg have been owned since 1899 by the Eifel Club and the club has slowly, but continually, restored them. They may be visited daily during the summer months. Guided group tours are also possible on request. The castle may also be booked for private events such as weddings. On the last weekend in August every year there is a medieval festival at the castle and the adjacent jousting field which receives about 15,000 visitors.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jett Dadswell (8 months ago)
If you love ruins and steep walks this is the place to be. Can't wait till it's finished.
Johannes Demmer (10 months ago)
Really nice stop with the kids to Explorer the old castle unusually situated in a Valley. Small Riser nearby to play and splash in.
Pencho Yanev (15 months ago)
Beautiful historical place with pleasant staff dressed in ancient armour, where the taste of the warm wine is incredible ?
Alexandru Matei (2 years ago)
We visited the castle on occasion of the Medeavel Festival and it must be the best time of the year to do so. First day, SAT, the weather was perfect, 19 deg and cloudy, extremely important as there is little shade on the castle lawn. We were not allowed to drive by car to the entrance, even to drop off the family and youn kids. The P+R is not close and the buses ran every 15 min. A bit of a queue. The 2 castles are in ruins, worth a climb, but nothing to visit, so the festival is all there is. High point was the joust, with side shows - jogglers, medieval music. Good fast food, on the brink of expensive. Not many craftshops though. Kids were entertained at some point in sword battle, knighting ceremony and some games available. No playground available. Toilets overcrowded, overworked, no baby amenities. We also went on SUN afternoon and evening when the Atmosphere was a lot more relaxed, as people left. No parade, but a last show involving all artists and crowning of the best artist. Grosser Zapfenstreich at the end, delightful and solemn.
Danielle Cummings (2 years ago)
One of my favorite ruins so far. For context, I came here with my mother in law and three kids (ages 5,3,1; I wore the baby). It unfortunately rained the first 15 minutes of our visit. It’s an easy walk from the parking lot to the castle on paved ground but once you’re on castle grounds, forget using a stroller and be very cautious baby wearing or if you have any physical limitations, ESPECIALLY in the rain. Very slippery in some areas. I did fine personally but my 3 year old struggled. That said, once it stopped raining it dried off quickly. We did have to buy tickets, but pricing was very fair. They have a small gift shop and even what looked like a bar if you feel in the mood for a beer. SO much to explore with English and German signage. The ruins are pretty huge and decently well preserved. I am overall so glad we made the trip here today and went to the neighboring castle after, which we drive to, though apparently it’s a 15-20 minute walk (all uphill).
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